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More cash for businesses in Caledonia

Marissa Nelson
Hamilton Spectator
(Jul 13, 2006)

[SISIS note: The following mainstream news article is provided for reference only, as an example of how mainstream media treats indigenous resistance to genocide. Mainstream media often presents biased and distorted information, lacking pertinent facts and/or context. Inclusion of this article on our site should not be considered an endorsement by SISIS.]

The province has increased its help for business owners in Caledonia to include wages and they've tacked on an extra month.

Ken Hewitt, a member of the Caledonia Citizens Alliance, said he was told during a meeting he had with three provincial ministers yesterday at Queen's Park that the province would extend the economic help by one month and would allow businesses to claim core wages, retroactive to the start of the program.

Hewitt urged those who haven't applied for help to do so and those who have to reapply for wage support.

Hewitt wasn't sure what the "core wages" definition would exclude. "Whether it's adequate or not, it's a reflection that the Liberal government has taken notice and they're trying to come up with solutions."

Hewitt and other Alliance members met with the ministers of aboriginal affairs, economic development and inter-governmental affairs yesterday for more than two hours.

Joe Cordiano, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, said they're still working out the details of the extension to the program and added that it will stay within the previously announced $500,000 budget.

In total, the provincial program now covers about four months of losses to local businesses due to the protest at the Douglas Creek Estates, which started at the end of February.

"It's in an effort to get the businesses back on their feet," Cordiano said in an interview.

The province is also working with the county on a long-term economic strategy.

Marie Bountrogianni, MPP for Hamilton Mountain and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, said she was proud of her government's track record in Caledonia.

Bountrogianni took a tour of Caledonia and the Douglas Creek Estates site last week and said it brought home the tension that prevails.

"We had a tour of all of the crisis points where people are still nervous. It was eye-opening. The tension is palpable," she said. "You hear about police presence, but when you see it, it hits home."

She has received dozens of calls from people, since she's the closest cabinet minister geographically.

"I'm very proud of our government that we stepped in and took on this responsibility. It's not a winning situation politically. But we had to do it. We're in for the long haul."

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